HOME > News

Sea of Galilee Drying Up Due to Extreme Weather, Israel Plans Refill from Desalination Pipeline

published: 2022-05-19 9:30

The Bible says that Moses led the Jewish people to a land flowing with milk and honey. In the 20th century, the Jews decided to establish a country in the old land of their homeland. However, the land of Israel is not a land flowing with milk and honey but a dry land that lacks even water sources. Thus,deserts and water sources have become important national security issues.

Israel's main source of fresh water is the Jordan River, the border river with Jordan. It originates in the northernmost part of Israel, flows into the Hula Valley, and then flows to the south for a short distance before emptying into the Sea of Galilee. Although it is called a sea, it is actually a freshwater lake and an important source of fresh water for both sides of the Jordan, which continues to flow south into the Dead Sea.

Israel used to draw water from the Sea of Galilee but, now affected by climate change, drought, and high temperatures, there was more rainfall in winter from the end of 2021 to early 2022, which caused the Sea of Galilee to rise slightly. Climate models show that rainfall in the first half of the 21st century will decrease by 10% to 15%. On the other hand, Israel's population is increasing rapidly and water use is also growing proportionally. If there is no active rescue plan, the Sea of Galilee is bound to dry up.

So Israel planned to do the opposite, not taking water from the Sea of Galilee, but pumping it in. Israel is the world's leading country in water technology and has mature seawater desalination technology. In order to save the Sea of Galilee, it plans to return desalinated fresh water to the Sea of Galilee to replenish its water resources.

It is not difficult to do this because, since the 1960s, Israel has built a series of infrastructure systems such as water pipelines, pumps, tunnels, etc. in order to draw water from the Sea of Galilee. The plan to refill the Sea of Galilee will cost 1 billion shekels (about 300 million US dollars) and, by the end of 2022, the upstream water delivery system will be able to transport water back to the Sea of Galilee.

There are currently five desalination plants in Israel. Take Hadera desalination plant as an example, it has an annual production capacity of 160 million cubic meters of fresh water. Actual production capacity is 137 million cubic meters a year. A single plant can supply 16% of Israel's drinking water.


announcements add announcements     mail print